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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 9 April, 2020

No Cam and still no party for Panthers as Buccs strike late

Tampa Bay overcame Carolina thanks to a last-gasp Roberto Aguayo field goal.

Roberto Aguayo
Roberto Aguayo

ROBERTO AGUAYO KICKED a 38-yard field goal as time expired to give the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a 17-14 victory over the Carolina Panthers in the NFL last night.

Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston was pretty quiet for most of the game, but led an 11-play, 66-yard drive late to get his team into field-goal range.

The Panthers, playing without MVP quarterback Cam Newton, struggled to find any consistency in attack. Backup Derek Anderson threw for 278 yards, but had three costly turnovers, including a fourth-quarter interception in the end zone with eight minutes, 39 seconds remaining.

Aguayo missed a 46-yard field goal on the ensuing possession, but Tampa got the ball back with 1:49 remaining after a Panthers three-and-out.

The Buccs were without their top two running backs in Doug Martin and Charles Sims, so journeyman scatback Jacquizz Rodgers set a career high in touches with 30 carries for 101 yards and five receptions for 28 yards.

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As Carolina were driving for a potential go-ahead touchdown, Anderson was picked in the end zone by Brent Grimes.

Rodgers had never had more than 18 carries and 20 touches in a game, but the Bucs leaned on him from the start. He touched the ball 11 times on Tampa Bay’s opening 15-yard series.

The Panthers had a streak of 35 straight games with at least 100 rushing yards snapped last week in Atlanta. Carolina ran for just 49 yards in the 48-33 loss, but got things back on track Monday with 136 total rushing yards.

Buccaneers Panthers Football Source: Bob Leverone

“We’ve got to be able to protect the football and give ourselves and opportunity to score,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said following the game.

The Panthers are now 1-4 and the defending NFC champions are in danger of missing the playoffs. They would be the 13th team to lose the Super Bowl and miss the playoffs the following season. The 2004 Panthers also missed the playoffs following their Super Bowl loss the previous season.

The Bucs have a little momentum heading into their bye week and hope to get running backs Doug Martin and Charles Sims and defensive linemen Robert Ayers, Gerald McCoy and Clinton McDonald all back from injuries.

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